This is one of my favorite core strength exercises to perform. The Raised Side Plank is a core strength hold exercise that specifically targets your obliques, but really strengthens your entire core region (obliques, abs, lower back).
To perform this exercise:
1. Find something to rest your feet on that is about a foot or two off the ground (I usually use a workout bench).
2. Rest one foot on top of the other and rest your elbow and forearm on the ground.
3. Lift your hips, core, and upper body off the ground so that they are parallel to the floor. Your upper arm to your shoulder should be perpendicular with the floor.
4. Hold this position for 1 minute (or for beginners, start with 30 seconds and increase your time once your core becomes stronger).
5. Repeat this exercise on the other side.
1. Make sure the side of your body (obliques) is facing the floor and the front of your body is facing forward.
2. Tighten you core, your obliques specifically, during the entire exercise
3. Lift your hips up and keep them parallel to the floor. It is very easy to start drooping your hips to the floor. If they start to fall slightly, really squeeze your stomach muscles to try and raise them back up to maintain the straight body position.
4. Form is more important than time! You will get better results from holding the correct position for 30 seconds than letting your body concave and turn incorrectly, holding the incorrect position for a longer time.
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One of the most common questions I get asked is “What is your ab workout routine?” The answer… I don’t have one. I know it may sound crazy, but I don’t follow any one routine to try and improve my stomach. I have found that if I stick to just one routine, my body may be sore the first few times I do the routine, but then it almost becomes immune to what I am doing and I no longer get sore, tired, and I don’t see continued results.
I have discovered that learning many different core workouts and frequently changing which ones I include in my ‘routine’ confuses my body and lets me see faster and better results (aka: muscle confusion). I have also learned that your core (abs, obliques, lower back) is a large grouping of muscles that should be treated like any other muscle your work out. When building muscle, it is suggested to focus on a muscle group intensely, and then giving that muscle group a few days to relax and recover. With this said, I only do core workouts about 2-3 times a week. I work very hard doing many different ab and core workouts, basically exhausting the muscles and then give them a few days to really recover so I can hit the workouts hard again when they are ready.
How long do I work my core?
I treat my core like any other muscle; therefore I dedicate a full day to just working on my core. A normal day would include about 30 minutes of cardio, followed by about 45 minutes to an hour of of core exercises. I know many people who do core exercises every day for about 10 minutes after their workouts, but at least in my case, I have found that truly focusing hard on my abs, obliques, and lower back and exhausting them only 2-3 days a week gives me the results I would like to see.